The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes

 The Salzburg Connection cover

The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes was first published in 1968. I remember reading some books by the author way back in the 1970s but haven’t read any since then, after reading this one I’ll have to track down as many others as I can because this was a really great read with loads of twists and turns.

It’s set some twenty-one years after the end of World War 2 but there are Nazis still around, they’ve been searching for things that had been hidden by them at the end of the war. There’s a bit of a race on to track down and recover a metal box which it’s thought has been hidden in a lake called Finstersee which is surrounded by the Austrian alps. Several such boxes have been found over the years, the Russians would also like to get their hands on this one, although what it might contain is a mystery.

This is a Cold War setting with spies and double agents galore – a great read.

I read this one for the Read Scotland 2017 Challenge.

Helen MacInnes was born in Glasgow and went to Glasgow University where she got a degree in French and German before going on to get a diploma in librarianship at London. During her librarianship career she chose the books for libraries in Dunbartonshire, which happens to be where I worked in libraries, but she was there decades before my days there.

Her husband was a British agent for MI6 and no doubt his experiences helped to fuel her imagination for espionage. Her second book Assignment in Brittany (1942), was required reading for Allied intelligence agents who were being sent to work with the French resistance against the Nazis. Four of her books were made into films. Later in life she and her husband moved to the US.

Have you read any of her books?

10 thoughts on “The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes

  1. I read Assignment in Brittany last year but I didn’t know it was required reading for Allied Intelligence agents. What an interesting fact. I read many of her books years and years ago. I have been slowly making my way through them again. They are great spy novels, aren’t they?

    • Jennifer,
      They are great spy novels. I’ve just discovered that Fife libraries have a lot of her books in stock although some are in reserve stock, which sometimes just means – lost! If I find any in secondhand bookshop I think I’ll buy them anyway.

  2. I’ve just organised to obtain a copy of this, sounds the sort of story I’d enjoy. I’ll let you know when I’ve read it.

  3. How well I remember how much I enjoyed The Salzburg Connection. I read it in 1976-1977 at some point. I remember reading it with the squirrels munching on mulberries in the tree outside my second-story window in the apt. I shared with two other friends. My memory of the enjoyment is such that I’d like to read it again. I read several others by MacInnes, but I don’t remember which ones. Drat! I did keep a journal back then, so if I went back and scoured through boxes full or notebooks, I’m sure I’d know. I should do that some rainy, rainy day. We’re still raining, so maybe soon?

    • Judith,
      It sounds like you and I must have been reading her books around about the same time. Unfortunately I didn’t keep any sort of track at all of the books that I read, but anyway it was all so long ago, I’ll never remember any of the details. Luckily Fife libraries seem to have a lot of her books.

    • Peggy,
      Me too, mine is in perfect condition, quite unusual because people used to just chuck them in the bin, it’s one of those book club books and they preferred the mock leather look of the actual book I think.

  4. The copy we used to have came with my wife. It was her copy from the book club she was in and yes, it was mock leather covers, which is why the dog had chewed it.
    The contents were just as good as when they left the printer’s.

    • R.Ker
      I well remember those books, the colours were so bright. My dad had them but I don’t know what happened to them when the family home was ‘cleared’. It’s strange that you hardly ever see them in secondhand bookshops. Maybe a lot of dogs were partial to them!
      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.


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